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Whatever Mother Says...: A True Story of a Mother, Madness and Murder (St. Martin's True Crime Library) Mass Market Paperback – March 15, 1995
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About the Author
Wensley Clarkson was one of Britain's most successful young journalists before moving to Los Angeles with his wife and their four children in 1991-an experience that inspired his book, A Year in La La Land. His other books-which have sold in more than a dozen countries-include the tabloid newspaper expose Dog Eat Dog, a biography of the actor Mel Gibson, plus four best-selling true-crime books Hell Hath No Fury, Like A Woman Scorned, Love You to Death Darling, and Doctors of Death.
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Throughout the book , the author references her weight as some sort of external sign of her loathsomeness. She 'waddled' to the door, the chair creaked under her frame, etc. Very offensive. Fat=abusive. Weight= brutality.
Her control is so complete, the children are portrayed as never leaving the house, so it comes as a shock when in the next chapter the kids are always spending time at other people's houses or regularly fleeing the house to spend time with oddball friends. Or her control being so extensive allegedly because she feared the girls' promiscuity, but the d. Shiela working as a hooker and turning over all her money.
The last two chapter are throw away chapters meander on possible reasons given by 'mind experts' (??) for her actions. He goes with 'sick' ' contagious' traumatized from a childhood experience'. No real investigation into her childhood, aside from the tales she told of herself. And the beginning of the book we meet her as an adult. What did she do for a living (we're told toward the end- worked as an orderly at convalescent homes)? Yet earlier, we're told she's a former nurse when treating her daughter after shooting her. but later she never uses that degree and it seems the author could've found out whether or not she really was a nurse, just said so, why she didn't work as one, etc.
That said, the disjointed accounts of abuse are horrifying.
There is no resolution in the end. It was written before the trial apparantly but mom got 50 to life, William who made good, got 5 yrs probabtion and Robert(?) got 3 yrs.
The book left me with more questions than answers.Not one of Wensley Clarksons best reads.
I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone